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Rabo de Toro: Spanish Oxtail

Rabo De Toro
"Oxtail with its rich flavour and soft, silky texture teased out by long cooking, is understandably a contender for this sort of comfort food."

 

Garlicky, rich and thick.

Serve with a glass of cold, dry sherry either on its own or with a selection of tapas dishes such as garlic fried prawns, chorizo cooked in cider, Serrano ham, Manchego cheese, olives and good bread.

Make Spanish Oxtail!:

 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 oxtail chopped into pieces by butcher
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200 g onion (approx 1 large) diced
  • 200 g carrot (approx 2 medium) diced
  • 2 sticks celery diced
  • 1 medium leek diced
  • 6-8 cloves garlic skinned & thinly sliced
  • 150 ml dry sherry
  • 100 ml brandy Spanish if possible
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 beef stock cube dissolved in 100ml hot water
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • chopped parsley to serve

 

METHOD:

  1. Season the flour with a little salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp of the smoked paprika.
  2. If using an Instant Pot (IP):
    Put the olive oil in the IP and press the Saute button. When the oil is hot, lightly coat each oxtail piece in the seasoned flour and brown well, all over, in the oil. Do this in batches, setting aside the browned pieces on a plate as you go.

    If cooking in the oven:
    Preheat oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3

    Heat the olive oil in a large casserole (it will need a lid later) over moderate heat. Coat each oxtail piece in the seasoned flour and brown them in batches, following the above instructions for the Instant Pot.
  3. Add the onion, carrot, celery, leek and garlic to the IP or casserole. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir around to coat in the oil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook until softened and starting to brown (15-20min).
  4. Stir in the sherry and brandy, bring to the boil and allow to bubble until almost all of the liquid has evaporated (3-5min).
  5. Add the thyme, bay leaf, the remaining 1.5 tsp of smoked paprika, the beef stock, tomatoes and the browned oxtail. Stir to combine and add a little water if the oxtail isn't almost all underneath the liquid.
  6. If using an Instant Pot (IP):
    Press the Keep warm/Cancel button, put the lid on, ensuring the lever is pointing at Sealing rather than Venting. Press the Manual button and use the +/- keys to set the time at 60 minutes.

    After the time is up, turn off the IP and leave for the pressure to release naturally. Switch to Venting, then carefully remove the lid. Test the meat to check that it is soft and almost falling off the bone. If it isn't, put the lid back on, switch on, press Manual and use the +/- keys to cook a further 15 minutes. Repeat until the meat is cooked to your liking.

    If cooking in the oven:
    Put the lid on the casserole dish before placing it in the oven. If there isn't a tight seal, place a sheet of foil over the casserole before putting the lid on. Cook for a minimum of 3 hours, checking now and then and adding more water or stock if it looks dry. If after 3 hours the meat isn't soft and almost falling off the bone, continue to cook, checking every 30 minutes until it's done to your liking.
  7. When the meat is cooked, remove the pieces of oxtail to a dish and keep warm.
  8. Strain the liquid through a sieve into a jug or bowl, stirring and pressing down on the vegetables to squeeze out as much sauce as possible without pushing the veg through the sieve.
  9. If you wish to reduce the sauce, place in a clean, wide saucepan and bubble for a few minutes until to your liking.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste before pouring the sauce over the cooked oxtail.
    Serve with Potatoes Sautéed in Beef Fat

 

Moorlands Eater, February 2018

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